May 12, 2004

Old Italian Masters: The Delphian Sibyl

Old Italian Masters: The Delphian Sibyl


Timothy Cole

(American, 1852–1931)

after Michelangelo Buonarroti

(Italian, 1475–1564)

Wood engraving

Gift of Mrs. Walter H. Merriam 1932.598

Catalogue raisonné: Smith, 240



In the 1800s many artists were inspired by the Italian Renaissance, seeing in it the clarity and classical ideals they valued. Timothy Cole traveled to Europe in 1883 for a commission to engrave images after Italian Renaissance works for an audience in the United States. This wood engraving reproduces one of Michelangelo’s monumental sibyls from the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Cole was celebrated for working directly from the originals. For example, the fine point of the engraving tool allowed Cole to create detail such as the faint fissures running across the Delphian Sibyl’s face and left arm that mimic cracks in the fresco.

See also
PR - Wood engraving
Type of artwork: 

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